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Aim. In the light of unprecedented increases in the levels of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in Hungary, accompanied by other evidence of increasing health and social consequences of alcohol, this study aimed to identify alcohol policy actors at the national level, describe their understanding of alcohol policy, determine their position, interest and influence on the issue, and identify the inter-relationships between these actors. Methods. A series of interviews with key actors identified through a snowball technique, supplemented by a telephone survey of local government authorities. Analysis was undertaken according to the principles of stakeholder analysis and political mapping. Findings and conclusions. The alcohol policy arena is fragmented. There is a lack of explicit and coherent goals and a shared vision by all actors is missing. Key actors do not seem to be aware of what they could do as a result of their position, and how. There is a failure to develop strategic alliances. Those actors with high and medium levels of support and interest in a comprehensive alcohol policy which would seek to control overall consumption have little influence. Those with influence in the policy arena have not mobilized themselves as regards public health in general and alcohol related policy in particular, with few notable exceptions. Considerable opposition can be expected from those working in retail and catering facilities.